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Commissioner Ridgeway: Transportation Safety Improvements — a First Step for Safety on Highway 92 in Clay County

Safety is the hallmark of my priorities.  This  means keeping safe streets and neighborhoods.  Yet safety also means safe roads and strong bridges.

For years, many of us have watched the dangers on Highway 92 in Clay County mount higher and higher.  Finally, a local newspaper reported two completely separate single car fatality accidents at merely one intersection of Highway 92 with a major rural road.

“Unacceptable” was my response.  I immediately started making inquiries of every transportation expert I could locate as to why safety improvements seemed impossible for Highway 92, yet they were being made on other nearby state highways.

Working with the Missouri Department of Transportation local leaders, I found that no one in the county had ever successfully made the case for a safety study to be conducted on Highway 92. I was determined to make the case.

On February 1, 2016, I sent a lengthy letter to the Missouri Department of Transportation outlining numerous reasons why Highway 92 was frankly —  a killer.

Several months ago, I learned that my letter was favorably received by the Missouri Department of Transportation.  A safety study was given preliminary approval.

However, the big question remained:  Would the Missouri Department of Transportation give statewide approval for a safety study on Highway 92 to protect all who travel by this major corridor?

Here is the GOOD NEWS!  At the July 7 meeting of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), final approval was given to conduct a road safety study (RSA) of the Highway 92 corridor.  This is the foundation of support necessary for long-needed safety improvements to Highway 92.  The evidence submitted was deemed more than enough.

The objective of an RSA is to identify proactive ways to enhance safety. MoDOT conducted similar RSA’s last year on Route 291 and Route 169 in Clay County that have resulted in  a number of improvements on both corridors that will be implemented in 2016.

“MoDOT continually looks for ways to improve safety on our roadways, and with the recent increase of fatalities on Missouri highways, we want to be as proactive as possible to help get everyone home safely,” said MoDOT District Engineer Dan Niec. “We look forward to working with Clay County and the local communities along Route 92.”

So finally, after many long years, I’m happy to report that, as your County Commissioner, we have the first step to making safety improvements to a major roadway that has, for too long, needlessly claimed innocent lives.  Many thanks to MoDOT local leaders who continue to make these improvements a reality.

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